Friday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week: Judith Jamison

Judith Jamison Dancer-4

Judith Jamison Biography
Ballet Dancer, Choreographer (1943–)

Judith Jamison, choreographer and dancer, has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.


Born on May 10, 1943, in Philadelphia, Judith Jamison trained early in dance and music and attended the Philadelphia Dance Academy before performing with the American Ballet Theatre in 1964. Jamison was with Alvin Ailey company until 1980 and during that time gave several notable performances. After Ailey’s death, Jamison became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Early Life

Dancer, choreographer and artistic director Judith Ann Jamison was born on May 10, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She trained early in dance and music and attended the Philadelphia Dance Academy before performing with American Ballet Theatre in 1964. A year later, she moved to New York City to join the Alvin Ailey company and quickly became a principal dancer.

Performance Career

Jamison stayed with Alvin Ailey until 1980 and during that time gave several notable performances, including 1967’s The Prodigal Prince, 1969’s Masekela Language and 1971’s Cry, which was a 15-minute solo piece. Audiences also remember 1976’s Pas de Duke, a duet with Mikhail Baryshnikov set to the music of Duke Ellington.

After leaving the company to appear in the Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, Jamison began choreographing her own works and started the Jamison Project in 1988. A year later, shortly after Ailey’s death, Jamison became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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Awards and Achievements

Jamison has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kennedy Center Honors in 1999 and the National Medal of Arts in 2001. Her autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was published in 1993.


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78 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Black Dancers Week: Judith Jamison

  1. eliihass says:

    Can someone please tell Rachel Maddow and Hillary Clinton to keep my FLOTUS’ out of their sham Becky game.

    Rachel decides to use a quote from of all people Jodi Kantor – who of course purports to be able to read Mrs Obama’s mind – to lob-soft pseudo-query Hillary about her Sidney Blumenthal entanglement..

    Hillary who by the way avoids ever mentioning Mrs Obama – immediately stiffens up and with that look of disdain, contempt and condescension sniffs her response. I’ll never get over how these Beckys are all at once contemptuous, fascinated, obsessed with, threatened by and are dismissive, envious and condescending towards ‘Michelle Obama’ …;

    MADDOW: I have a question for you about having been in public life for a long time.

    There’s a book written about the Obama family by Jodi Kantor recently, in which Michelle Obama was quoted, saying that one of their new rules when they got to Washington was no new friends.

    And that resonates with me, because I feel like – I – I see that in other people who become well known for other reasons. They decide – you know, once you’re well known, you don’t want to bring new people into your life in a close, personal way, because they’ll probably want to use you for something.

    You’ve been in public life for so long that – I have to bring this around to a Sidney Blumenthal section, and I hope you’ll forgive me. I realize he was not your primary adviser on Libya…


    … I do not hold you responsible for his e-mail feed .

    But I – I also feel like, maybe by necessity, you and your husband have had to hold on to friends for a very long time, in part because it doesn’t make sense to bring on a lot of new ones.

    And a lot of the friends that you’ve got that are old Washington hands have really been through the wars with you. And it has hardened them, and turned some of them into really, really aggressive partisans.

    And that is one thing that I worry about, about the prospect of you becoming president. About Sidney Blumenthal and Glenn Davis and – and Mark Penn and all of these guys that you guys have known and worked with for all this time thinking that they’ve got – they’re back at the table.

    Because they’re ready to go fight your wars again, and then that means we can’t move on from all the old battles.

    CLINTON: Yeah. No…

    MADDOW: You – do you hear that phrase – does it make sense? I hope it doesn’t sound mean (inaudible).

    CLINTON: No – no, it doesn’t sound mean, and – you know, I – I haven’t heard it directly, but I’ve read it, so that – I know that it’s not – it’s not something that – you know, is just a – a throwaway line. I think people raise it.

    Well, first of all – you know, because we’ve been in public life for so long, we’ve made a lot of new friends over the years.

    MADDOW: There’s no “no new friends” rule?

    CLINTON: There’s no new friends rule at all, and there certainly is no new advisers rule, no new ideas rule. Because Bill – you know, started running for political office when we were very young, in our early thirties. If we had made no new friends, we would have had the friends we’d had from high school and college.

    So of course we’ve made a lot of new friends, and I think that’s all to the good. I’m very grateful that I’ve had a lot of people who have come into my life. My campaign this time is run by a lot of people that I didn’t know before I hired them, as well as people that had worked for me before.

    So I do – you know, I am like the old Girl Scouts song – you know, “make new friends, but keep the old; some are silver, the others are gold.” And I think I have developed a – a real – you know, ear for those who are more aggressive in my defense than they may need to be or should be.

    It is hard on your friends. You know, one of my very best friends, somebody that I communicate with at least every week, if not more so – I remember her saying to me one time, “you know, it’s really hard being your friend, because I take everything so personally.”

    Well, we’ve been friends since sixth grade, so, yeah, she does take everything so personally. And I do have a lot of my women friends, who are – you know – you know, they see something like yesterday, with eleven hours, and they’re – you know, e-mailing me like crazy, like, “get a massage.”


    “Just take tomorrow off.” All of that.

    I have great friends, and some of them are known publicly, and some of them are totally private. But – I wouldn’t have a “no new friends” rule, but I would certainly be a little bit – I take my time to decide – you know, is somebody, as you say, just trying to get in – to sit at the table, or is somebody genuinely interested in what I’m interested in.

    • eliihass says:

      As if Mrs Obama is so dumb and naive, has no ‘great’ friends to speak of – and her own husband didn’t get into politics at a young age and they haven’t together acquired more than a fair share of ‘new friends, new advisers and new ideas’..

      Then again, Hillary in not so many words – maybe too many – also suggested that the President was pretty much naive for assuming the Republicans would be reasonable and work with him …

      MADDOW: But I want to ask you about one part of President Obama’s approach to being President that I think there would be a difference between him and you. Has he been naive in expecting Republicans to work with him, when they – they really didn’t work with him on anything?

      They explicitly did not work with him even on things they agreed with him on because it was more important to them to try to stop him than to even accede their own policy aims. Should he have expected that? Would you expect that?

      CLINTON: Well, I think, when you are dealing with the other part in Washington, it’s that old saying – you know, you hope for the best, you prepare for the worst.

      Of course you want to have the opportunity to work across party lines. I did that when I was a senator. I did it when I was secretary of state. But you need about – you know, six, seven, eight, 10 scenarios if something doesn’t go your way.

      …But I’ll also stand my ground, and I think it’s a constant balance about where one begins and the other one ends. And I think the president was absolutely sincere. I mean, I spent a lot of time with him in the first four years, and he was absolutely sincere.

      …And he was often – you know, just bewildered that the evidence was clear, the results were going to flow, and the Republicans would privately say, “yeah, you’re right, but I can’t,” or “I won’t.”

      ‘Often bewildered’ = Naive. Didn’t see it coming. Was unprepared. No back-up plans. Not politically savvy enough.

  2. rikyrah says:

    the comments are hilarious!


    Damon Young, 10/23/15


    The longest of the previews was given to Our Brand Is Crisis — a movie about a presidential campaign in Bolivia, and the machinations necessary to get a certain desired candidate elected. But, after watching the preview, a much better title would have been Sandra Bullock Saves South America. Because, that’s all the preview was. Sandra Bullock sweating while saving South Americans. Sandra Bullock swearing while saving South Americans. Sandra Bullock sitting while saving South Americans. And even Sandra Bullock showering, shaving, and sleeping while saving South Americans. Perhaps this isn’t the movie the producers and director intended to make. But they should have known that when you cast Sandra Bullock in a movie with multiple minorities, she’s going to do some saving. Because she’s the greatest White savior ever. No one — not Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds, not “Jake” the Whiteboy soldier from Avatar, not even David Stern — has saved as many people of color as Sandra Bullock has. It’s almost like when some Black or Brown people need saving, someone puts a Bat signal in the sky (perhaps one in the form of a Black Power fist) to alert Bullock so she can commence to saving.

  3. Inside the Eye of a Hurricane (Huracán) Patricia | Oct 23, 2015

  4. rikyrah says:

    Martin Longman (Booman)’s brother Andrew died unexpectedly today.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Charter schools are the Devil.

    And, Teach For America is a scam.


    found at POU:

    Deray and Brittany Packnett were questioned about their affiliation with Teach For America. Packnett addresses that here:

    Let’s Get Back to Work

    Brittany Packnett
    Executive Director at Teach For America

    …It is easy to portray our work in Ferguson and St. Louis as one point
    in a series of ploys to gain entry for Teach For America and encourage
    the proliferation of public charter schools, kicking out educators of
    color to replace them with nothing but white teachers in black
    communities, ignoring the will of the communities we are privileged to
    serve. But the truth? The truth is that in St. Louis, where I have been
    honored to lead our efforts for the past three years, we place the
    majority of our teachers in traditional public schools where shortages
    still occur annually, and where two-thirds of our alumni who remain in
    education decide to continue their careers in our schools. The truth is
    that it has been our evolving organizational connection with my hometown community that pushed us to raise more money to transform our teacher training to be hyper-local , centered in culturally responsive pedagogy, and, along with TFA nationally, have been placing cohorts of teachers more diverse in race, economic background and age than ever before.

    It is easy to reduce our time teaching displaced students in the Ferguson library to a scandalous plot twist, when the evil villains used children and a community stricken with pain for our own goals. The truth, however, is far more boring. The truth is that because we have a cadre of trained educators, economic resources and media connections, standing up beside the Ferguson teachers and parents who started the make-shift school was the very least we could do. After all, isn’t that what it looks like to be in solidarity? Using our use our privilege for good meant we could send in additional teachers when Ferguson teachers had to go to crisis counseling training. Our financial resources helped secure additional supplies where before, teachers and retirees were buying them from their own pockets. Our media connections and, yes, partners with presence on Twitter, helped get the word out to worried parents who needed safety, security and instruction for their scared and confused children. Stepping into that work alongside several dozen parents, traditional teachers and community volunteers who brought their many talents was not
    a conspiracy: it was our responsibility.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Kragar ‏@Kragar_LGF 38m38 minutes ago

    BUSTED: Duggar family’s homeschool program sued for sexually abusing minors… …

  7. rikyrah says:

    Gawker ‏@Gawker 2h2 hours ago

    Texas authorities raid multiple Planned Parenthood locations, seeking patient records

  8. rikyrah says:

    – – -Julia is described by the Sesame Workshop as “a preschool girl with
    autism who does things a little differently when playing with her
    – — -1 in every 68 kids = autistic.-

  9. rikyrah says:

    ‘Harper awoke a sleeping giant’: First Nations break election records

    Monday’s election was historic for Canada’s First Nations community, which saw 10 indigenous MPs elected.

    Winners included Liberals Vance Badawey, who was elected in Niagara Centre, and Yvonne Jones, who was re-elected in Labrador.

    The election also saw a record-breaking 54 indigenous candidates run for office.

    Each candidate ran in one of the 51 swing ridings identified by Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde, where he said the aboriginal vote could make a difference between a majority and minority government.

    Among the major Conservative upsets Monday night was Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt, who was ousted by Liberal candidate Rene Arsenault in his New Brunswick riding of Madawaska-Restigouche.

    On Tuesday, Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, spoke at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in Winnipeg about the election results.

    North Wilson congratulated the Liberal Party on their victory and said MKO was happy with the turnout. She estimated that more than 11,000 new voters went to the polls in northern Manitoba on Monday.

    “We have to say our people got engaged, got involved, and they were tired of what they were seeing in the last six years especially,” North Wilson said.

    At least five first nations reportedly needed extra ballots brought in to accommodate the numbers.

    ‘Harper awoke a sleeping giant’: First Nations break election records

    “In other southern communities, we are told there was, in fact, ballots that ran out,” said Wilson.

    There was also an uptick in participation on reserves. Numbers are traditionally very low, but voting was up by as much as 20 per cent in some ridings.

    Nepinak expressed his excitement about the turnout.

    “It’s a really great day because so many people went out to put their words into action,” he said. “So many of our indigenous people across the country recognize that to participate in a Canadian federal election does not compromise their sovereignty.”

    While efforts were made to mobilize First Nations voters through a “Rock the Vote” campaign, Manitoba’s Grand Chiefs believe the huge response can be attributed solely to a desire to oust Stephen Harper from office.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Ethnicity & Race @EthnicityRace
    Comedy Cult Classic ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” Coming Out on Blu-Ray DVD Feb 2016

  11. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    We probably won’t have a woman President until the 2020’s.

  12. Liza says:

    Yeah, but I don’t think it’s two weeks away.

    We're maybe two weeks away from stories about Hillary "finding her voice" and "overcoming lingering doubts about her authenticity".— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 23, 2015


  13. rikyrah says:

    Spanish billionaire overthrows Bill Gates as world’s richest person

    It’s Spanish clothes magnate Amancio Ortega, who has overtaken Microsoft founder Bill Gates for the first time ever.

    According to Forbes’ real-time tracker, the elusive multi-billionaire founder of European clothes retailer Zara just smashed past Bill Gates to become the wealthiest person on the planet, with a fortune of $79.8 billion (€71.83 billion or £51.84 billion).

    The elusive Ortega isn’t as much of a household name as Gates, but he’s quietly ascended the wealth rankings in recent years, as his company continues to perform well and expand.

    Unlike many of the richest people in the world, Ortega has a fascinating rags-to-riches story. Born in 1936 during the Spanish civil war, Ortega’s father earned 300 pesetas a month, a meagre salary.

    Ortega’s biographer described his memories of a childhood during which his family could not always afford enough food. He left school in his early teens, working his way up from the absolute bottom rung as a messenger boy in a shop.

  14. rikyrah says:


    eliihass had all sorts of truths in the Thursday Open Thread. Hope you put a lot of them into tweets.

    • I did tweet some. I’ll check the thread again.

    • eliihass says:

      LOL…I’m just so furious..

      It’s like we’re in the twilight zone and everyone’s lost their minds..

      Last night Joy Ann Reid’s jigging hard on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show and this morning it’s Tamron Hall shilling –

      Who can forget Mrs Greenspan or Rachel Maddow’s performance yesterday? Dropping every pretense of journalistic integrity, both beet red in the face from throwing endless tantrums on behalf of Hillary..

      Sad how we let these Beckys and their male equivalents trivialize, dismiss, demean, tear down our firsts, our heroes, our great role models and our visible symbols of what’s best about us as black people, while they talk up, elevate, make sacred and rally hard for their symbols – no matter how mightily flawed and undeserving..

      See how all the Beckys have even managed to recruit some of us into rah-rah -ing for their chosen symbol of them – Lifting Ms Ann up and rallying for and about her – giving her the support she hardly asked for, and strength and sustaining her every minute as she arrogantly faces her enemies…

      Meanwhile our own first is attacked, dehumanized, diminished and left to fend for herself with zero support –

  15. eliihass says:

    Now we have Hillary right now completely ripping off First Lady Michelle Obama’s speeches at the Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum –

    That’s probably why they decided not to invite FLOTUS this year for the first time – that and filling the roster of speakers with the likes of Susie Tompkins Buell – bitter PUMAs.

    I hope FLOTUS does not fundraise or campaign for them.. They’ve disrespected and used her enough..

    How I despise these awful people that have hijacked our party..

  16. rikyrah says:

    See….he’s not talking in Frank Luntz-Approved language.


    Dr. Ben Carson’s prescription: Abolish Medicare

    The GOP frontrunner in the latest Iowa poll would replace Medicare and Medicaid with savings accounts.

    By Kyle Cheney and Jason Millman

    10/22/15 07:40 PM EDT


    Republicans have fended off accusations for years that they’d gut Medicare for seniors and end the program “as we know it.”

    Not Ben Carson. The former neurosurgeon acknowledges he would abolish the program altogether.

    Carson, who now leads the GOP field in Iowa according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll, would eliminate the program that provides health care to 49 million senior citizens, as well as Medicaid, and replace it with a system of cradle-to-grave savings accounts which would be funded with $2,000 a year in government contributions. While rivals have been pummeled for proposing less radical changes, Carson hasn’t faced the same scrutiny — and his continued traction in polls has left GOP strategists and conservative health care wonks scratching their heads.

    “This isn’t a borderline issue. The politics of this are horrific,” said Doug Holtz-Eakin, head of the American Action Forum and health care adviser to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

    Read more:

  17. rikyrah says:

    Un-fucking-believable………..smGDh……….because they won’t listen to the black president – who won twice.

  18. rikyrah says:

    I’ve been tweeting:
    @DWStweets You’d better talk to Andrew Cuomo & Wendy Davis about women of color & voting😐

    • eliihass says:

      They’re probably banking on the President rallying whatever black people the Clintons can’t get…and them condescendingly doing FLOTUS the ‘favor’ of using her to reach out to those other blahs – That’s all they’re good for as far as these people running the DNC show are concerned..

  19. rikyrah says:

    Another good rant from POU:

    Mario Yoshi

    My post from last night:
    *Small rant ahead*

    All these f’ing excuses folks are making for Clinton……

    Ignore the fact that if she would’ve followed the Black guy’s instructions, this shit would’ve never happened in the first place!

    The same folks that couldn’t defend Obama on bogus charges of sexism in 2013 now expect folks like me to give a full hearted defense of Hillary’s incompetence?!

    #FUCK YOU!

    If the roles were reversed, Black academics would be screaming for Barack to drop out the race now to prevent any further embarrassment.

    And speaking of the farce known as the 2016 election, to top all of this off, I’d be willing to bet that Bernie is likely to be Hillary’s VP choice….

    The subliminal message that sends to Obama & Black people in general. Like I said before, count me out. I’m done.

    This isn’t about Dem vs Repub anymore, it’s about keeping Black people in check. I can’t & will not under any circumstance support that shit. Point, blank, period.

  20. rikyrah says:



    Good morning POU Family. Allow me to unburden my soul a minute….

    I look at the John Harwood tweet Rikyrah posted below and I truly feel nothing but disgust for a lot of Dems/Liberals this morning. I wish it could be different but it’s how I feel. Barack Obama inherited a disaster from George W. Bush and in spite of organized, unyielding and downright racist opposition brought this country back. The auto industry saved, health care reform, unemployment rate cut in half.

    And it wasn’t good enough for his own party.

    As I watch Dems/Liberals ki ki and hit the nae nae over the BENGHAZI! performance theater all I can wonder is… Where was all this energy and support when we really could’ve used it? When the President BEGGED people not to give these GOP idiots the keys to Congress in 2010 and 2014? Anyway… Sorry for the rant but I’m totally disgusted right now.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Prayers for those in the eye of the Hurricane. Sounds like she is going to be a beast….Be safe…and if they tell you to evacuate…GO!

  22. rikyrah says:

    Darth Kriss @insanityreport
    It’s like what Obama accomplished from his candidacy to now wasn’t learned by either party

    Darth Kriss @insanityreport
    GOP out out a crazy list of contenders and the Dems just laid out the welcome mat for Clinton. This is so sad

    Darth Kriss @insanityreport
    That’s the only thing I have to look forward to this election: Disappointment

    Darth Kriss @insanityreport
    I wish there was a candidate to be excited about in 2016. But there just isn’t. Everyone sucks

  23. rikyrah says:


    Iowa Poll: Carson surges to 9-point lead; Trump slides

    Donald Trump is the biggest loser in the new Iowa Poll.

    The pious Ben Carson has plowed past the braggadocious New York businessman to take the front-runner crown, unseating Trump as the most popular choice for president among likely GOP caucusgoers, the new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll shows.

    Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, is the favorite choice for 28 percent — 9 percentage points ahead of Trump’s 19 percent.

    Even Carson’s most controversial comments — about Muslims, Hitler and slavery — are attractive to likely Republican caucusgoers. The poll shows just two perceived weaknesses: his lack of foreign policy experience and his research using fetal tissue during his medical career.

    • eliihass says:

      Ben Carson is nothing but a momentary token for dyed in the wool GOP racists looking for their black face to convince everyone that their vicious racist attacks on the Obamas had nothing to do with race –

      In the end, Ben is going nowhere fast – He will be returning to Baltimore before this is all over..

  24. rikyrah says:

    Free market and all…no better for him.


    Imprimis offers $1 alternative to Turing’s $750 pill

    A specialty drugmaker said it would sell for less than $1 a version of Daraprim, an anti-infective drug at the heart of allegations of “price gouging” involving Turing Pharmaceuticals after it hiked the price by over 5,000 percent to $750 a pill.

    The 62-year-old Daraprim is sold in the United States by the tiny Turing, whose controversial CEO Martin Shkreli has become the face of industry profiteering after bumping up the drug’s price to $750 from $13.50 a pill after buying it in August

  25. rikyrah says:

    No, Dear.

    It will be NON-WHITE women that will put Hillary over the top if she wins.

    If it had been up to White women, we’d have President Romney, Governor Cucchinelli, and why we have Governor Abbott in Texas.


    D Wasserman SchultzVerified account
    “It is women voters who will put our Democratic nominee over the top to become the 45th President of the United States!” -DWS

  26. rikyrah says:

    Susan Lucci Opens Up About Grandson’s Cerebral Palsy, Praises Him for ‘Tremendous Perseverance’

    Daytime TV legend Susan Lucci is opening up for the first time about her family’s secret heartbreak.

    The Emmy winner’s 7-year-old grandson, Brendan, suffers from cerebral palsy. Susan’s daughter, Liza Huber, felt something was wrong after giving birth to him nine weeks early, but her initial fears subsided due to the joy of being able to bring him home.

    “We were in the NICU for six weeks,” Liza explained. “It was a long road. So when he came home, we could feel his body was a little tight, and it was a little cause for concern, but I just said, ‘Everything’s fine. He’s alive!'”

    Then in 2010 came the official diagnosis.

    “When he was 10 months old and he couldn’t sit up on his own, I had to start kind of thinking about it,” Liza said. “We started talking to the doctors. At 19 months he couldn’t stand up. There was just no being in denial anymore.”

    Brendan’s crisis came when Susan was competing on Dancing With the Stars, but she never shared with the world just how the neurological disorder was affecting her grandson, who has physical therapy every day and leg braces to help him walk.

    • rikyrah says:

      BJW2 @Freefree0Bobbie
      @PragObots @ Hey @JohnJHarwood love for you to ask all Dem candidates, why is it a habit for Dem candidates to distance themselves from PBO?

  27. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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